Many restaurants show appreciation to veterans and active duty military members on Veterans Day by giving them free or discounted meals.
The Hooters chain of restaurants doesn’t wait until November to appreciate customers who have served in the military. Most Hooters locations give veterans and current military members discounts on at least one night each week.
Then, on Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November, Hooters restaurants offer veterans an even better deal: a free entree to say thanks to the people who serve and have served in the military.
Veteran Appreciation: Built Into the Business Plan
If you’ve eaten lunch or dinner at a Hooters restaurant, you’ve probably noticed the chain seeks to attract male customers by hiring a female-only wait staff known as “Hooter Girls.”
Female customers are welcome too, of course, but the chain got its start back in 1983 when six men in Florida sought to open a restaurant they’d never get kicked out of.
The men, now known as the “Hooters 6,” didn’t expect two-and-a-half decades of success and steady business growth. It’s no surprise, though, that the chain, which has grown to include 420 locations in 29 countries, still draws a largely male-dominated clientele.
Males also comprise about 84 percent of the armed forces, according to recent Department of Defense data. So attracting more veterans and active duty military members with discounts dovetails with Hooters’ male-centric business plan.
Beyond Veterans Day: Weekly Specials
Hooters is a restaurant which offers military discounts throughout the year.
As a veteran or a current active duty member of the United States military, you can get 20 percent off your order at most Hooters locations every Tuesday night throughout the year.
Along with the Tuesday night promotion, some locations give veterans 10 percent off their orders on other weeknights. Check with the location nearest you to find out if and when it participates.
Many Hooters locations also have special Memorial Day deals. Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, remembers those who have died serving in the military.
Veterans Day falls on Nov. 11 each year because the German and Allied forces reached a cease-fire agreement to end World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. It honors all who have served in the military, including those still serving.
Hooters usually gives veterans free entrees on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Verifying Your Status as a Veteran
Like any restaurant, Hooters will want to make sure you’re a veteran before extending its weekly or holiday offers.
To prove your status, please bring a standard military identification card or another proof of service. Below are a few commonly accepted ones
- A Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
- Military ID Card
- Veterans ID Card
- DD 214
- State-Issued Drivers License with Veterans Designation
- Veterans Service Organization Card
So What’s the Deal on Veterans Day?
On both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, retired and active military personnel can select a free entree from a special menu.
While not as extensive as the restaurant’s full menu, the free Veterans and Memorial Day menus have a lot to offer. The menus usually include:
- 10-Piece Traditional Wings
- 10-Piece Boneless Wings
- Hooters Burger
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.
You can also choose from the 17 Hooters sauces and dry rubs, including Caribbean Jerk, Texas BBQ, Teriyaki Samurai, Chipotle Honey, Garlic Habanero and Lemon Pepper.
The Veterans Day offer is valid on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 only, and not on the following Monday when the federal government observes the holiday, or on the Saturday before when some retailers have Veterans Day sales.
Most Hooters locations open by 11 am for lunch and remain open until midnight or later. Some locations close early on Sundays, so be sure to check with your nearest Hooters before arriving.
Keep in mind, too, that your local laws may prohibit alcohol sales on Sundays. Your local restaurant won’t be able to make exceptions even for veterans.
Restrictions and Stipulations to Hooters Veterans Day Menu
Hooters offers a pretty straightforward deal. It doesn’t require you to bring in a coupon or to make any validating purchases at any other time during the year.
The deal does not include drinks. In fact, last year’s press release from Hooters says you need to buy a drink to activate the free offer.
So be sure to bring a few dollars for your drink, and bring some money to tip the “Hooters Girl.”
As with most promotions, you can’t combine offers. So if Veterans Day happened to fall on a Tuesday (it’s on a Sunday this year) you couldn’t get your free meal and 20 percent off your drinks.
As I said above, Hooters limits free entrees on Veterans Day (and Memorial Day) to a special menu. The special menu offers a pretty wide selection, though.
Some people don’t like when restaurants use a special menu to limit free meals, but it makes sense when you think about it. It’s easier than trying to keep track of what’s free, and it helps the restaurant make sure it has enough food to serve veterans throughout the day.
Other Ways Hooters Honors Veterans
Along with complimentary meals and discounts we’ve already discussed, Hooters has also raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations that support veterans, including the Homes for Our Troops initiative.
The initiative builds custom houses for veterans who were injured in battle. These new houses are mortgage-free when the heroes move in.
Each year Hooters also makes a calendar and allows customers to buy them at discounted prices for soldiers deployed across the world. Ask about Operation Calendar Drop when you stop by for your free meal on Veterans Day.
Enjoy Your Veterans Day Deals
This special holiday provides a great opportunity for restaurants to say thanks to veterans for their service in person with a free Veterans Day meal.
So whether you want to spend your day shopping exploring a museum, or eating wings at Hooters, (or all three!) there is bound to be a discount for you.